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Gift-wrapped pet health tips to make your holidays both merry and wise!

Hold the Eggnog - According to Petplan claims data, food-related illnesses spike in the period around Christmas and Hanukkah, with a 90% increase in claims for poisoning from food alone. Follow these six holiday health tips to ring in the New Year without a trip to the emergency room.

Batteries Not Included - Toys and gadgets keep winter doldrums at bay, but the batteries required to power playtime can put pets in harm’s way. When chewed, batteries can leak corrosive chemicals that cause burns, ulceration or even perforation of stomach or intestines – just ask the family of Gus, a Schipperke from New York City, whose vet bill was just reimbursed by Petplan for a battery acid burn!

All That Glitters Is Not Gold - Tinsel may sparkle, but this popular holiday d├ęcor can cause serious trouble for cats who find its shiny appearance enticing. If ingested, tinsel can act as a linear foreign body and get caught in the intestines, often requiring dangerous and costly surgery to remove. Find a pet-safe alternative to deck the halls on our DIY Pet Projects board on Pinterest.

Vets for Pets

(expert blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Pet Pawlitics - Could the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, affect your vet bills? Get the answer at our Vets for Pets Blog from Dr. Kim Smyth.

The Naughty List - Kisses under the mistletoe are a popular seasonal tradition, but should your furry family member ingest one of these problematic plants, it could lead to disaster. See our naughty list of five types of foliage to keep out of paw’s reach.

Skip the Sweet Talk - Doctors agree that sugar contributes to the formation of cavities in people, but what about pets? Discover the link between diet and dental health – and why dry food does little to clean pets’ teeth – in this blog from Dr. Ernie Ward.

The temperatures may be plummeting, but our expert advice has been heating up! Check out a few of our most pup-ular placements over the past month:

Vetting the Data - Petplan VP of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jules Benson, offered his expert advice and Petplan claims data on holiday health risks to national media outlets CBS News, CNN, MarketWatch, NBC News, NPR and Rodale.com, as well as covered three health considerations for feline friends at Yahoo! Voices, such as causes of hind leg weakness in older cats.

Leading by Way - No stranger to entrepreneurial success, Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton’s latest column in SmartBusiness offered helpful tips to help drive creativity and find the next big thing.

Fast and Fur-ious - Petplan’s Pinterest page was put in focus by Fast Company for our creative board ideas, such as our “Breed All About It” board, featuring information about our canine companions and common health problems. Visit us on Pinterest to find your favorite board!

Picture A Life Saved
- Be a lifesaver to animals in need. Donate $24.95 or more to support Bianca’s Furry Friends, North Shore Animal League America’s proposed Feline Adoption Center, and get an exclusive 2014 calendar featuring Beth Stern with rescue pets, photographed by Howard Stern. Not only will this exclusive calendar help support North Shore’s expansion plan to save the lives of more homeless animals, it also makes a great gift!

Play it Coal - Stuff your pet’s stocking with a buoyant, bouncy mint-scented Orbee-Tuff® Lump of Coal Ball that’s fun for Fido and sure to get a laugh from guests.

Go Green, Give Back - Pick up a holiday pooch package to make a DIY dog bed and Molly Mutt® will donate $10 to Canine Support Teams’ Pawz for Wounded Veterans Program to provide service and assistance dogs to disabled U.S. military veterans.

Spin and Grin - Kitty dreidel toys with jingle bell and elastic string let you stretch the feline festivity over Hanukkah’s eight nights, and beyond!

Join the pawty! Meet fellow Petplan family members and friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Post a picture of your pet and say hello!

Such Great Heights - Rupee was once an abandoned puppy rescued from a rubbish dump in India. Now, he’s the first dog to conquer Mount Everest.

Big Trouble for Little Legs - The Corgi population is rapidly declining in England. Could tail docking be to blame?

Snow Before You Go - According to the U.S. Travel Association, 18% of U.S. adult leisure travelers take their pets with them on trips. Before you hit the road this winter, check out these four pet holiday travel tips to keep your best friends safe.

Skip the cookies and milk and serve up a sardine-packed treat from Dr. Ernie Ward that’s sure to appeal to your pup’s health during the howl-idays.

Chum and Get it Fish

You'll need:
2 - 3.75 oz. cans of sardines packed in water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 chopped carrot
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup lowfat (2%) cottage cheese
2 tbsps parsley

To make this recipe:
Combine the celery and carrots in a blender or food processor and blend until minced or pureed. In a bowl, combine the sardines, vegetable mix, blueberries, cottage cheese, and parsley and mix. Divide into portions appropriate for your pet’s caloric intake. Makes 3 cups. 187 calories per cup.

Remember to keep treats to less than 10 percent of your pet's daily caloric intake to maintain a healthy diet.

Recipe from Dr. Ernie Ward’s Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs are Getting Fatter - A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives (2010 HCI). Check with your veterinarian before trying a new recipe for your pet, to ensure your efforts – and your furry friends! – are appropriately rewarded. For more inspiring ideas, click here.

“A Gift of Love”
What is the best gift you’ve ever received from your pet? A kiss on the cheek after a long day of work? A lesson on life? The chance to love again? Tell us for the chance to win a special treat – Seth Casteel’s new Underwater Dogs: Kids Edition book. Featuring the great pet photography you know (and love!), it's designed for the little ones in your life, but enjoyable for all!

To enter, write to us at petplantails@gopetplan.ca or share your story with us on Facebook. Hurry – contest ends December 31 at 11:59 pm EST!

The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to approval and coverage may vary by state. Pet insurance policies are issued by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company and administered by Fetch Insurance Services, d/b/a Petplan. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2012). For more information, visit GoPetplan.ca.

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